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» One Touch Football - Archive » Music » Old man advises critics to cool it (Page 4)

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Author Topic: Old man advises critics to cool it
Diggedy Derek
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Maybe a system of how much you'd pay for something would work well. I remember a review of a Brian Eno box set in Melody Maker saying it would be worth it at ten times the retail price, and indeed, the reviewer was right. Perhaps that would work well- Joy Division box set- 37 quid. Destiny's Child Christmas album- price of a second class stamp.

Or alternatively, you could state what personal item you feel is roughly equivalent to the item under review. John Coltrane's complete Impulse recordings I'd possibly choose over my degree certificate, whereas Jay-Z's The Blueprint is roughly a half-pint of full cream milk.

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My name is Mumpo
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didn't one of the monthly magazines provide a little histogram at the bottom of each of its album reviews, with the tracks named along the x-axis and ratings of one to five blocks sprouting along the y-axis? that way you could chart how well the album was performing along the course of its duration.

also, how is a star rating system calibrated? does zero aters represent the most apalling, unlistenable noise imaginable, or merely a very underwhelming effort by the artist concerned? i mean, look at Strictly Come Dancing. they might give Peter Schmeichel an absolute slating, then mostly award sixes out of ten. you wouldn't slate an album then give it three starts, would you? just how compressed does the upper end of the scale get?

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Spearmint Rhino
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I like Derek's second system a lot.

If only we knew someone who was the reviews editor of a national music magazine.

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E10Rifle
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Matt, I think this could be a bit of a chicken-or-egg discussion. You can certainly make a convincing thesis about the correlation between pop trends and, say, Thatcherism but you'd have to untangle which came first. I don't, overall, think pop culture caused Thatcherism (huge number of the people that voted for her in, say, 1979 would have been of the "pre-pop" era), but you're on stronger ground when you say pop culture individualism was partly a by-product of Thatcherism, even when that pop music itself was inspiringly great. If ever there was a period that encapsulated that it's that 1981-82 period so regularly, and rightly, lauded on here. The politics of that time were horrific; the pop music was wonderful. These two facts are certainly not unrelated.
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Spearmint Rhino
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Century Of The Self made a very persuasive case that the hippy generation were directly responsible for Thatcherism/Reaganism.
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Ibex Trounce
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For example, the Observer Music Monthly, which this month gives the new Arcade Fire five stars even though it mentions "one bum moment." If it's not perfect, why the five stars (Not having heard it yet, I couldn't possibly comment)?

Or indeed, the Scissor Sisters' last album which was given four stars in OMM despite Mr Mulholland giving it a distinctly two-star review.

(multiple xpost obv)

[ 19.02.2007, 15:47: Message edited by: Zoe Zawinul ]

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My name is Mumpo
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quote:
For example, the Observer Music Monthly, which this month gives the new Arcade Fire five stars even though it mentions "one bum moment." If it's not perfect, why the five stars
possibly because the reviewer was a proponent of the ten-star system and felt it appropriate to round 9/10 to 5/5?

one of my English teachers used to tell us that she would never award ten out of ten for a piece of composition, because to do so would mean it was perfect, she would have to be perfect herself to recognise it as such.

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die grosse linke Hand
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I think the Arcade Fire album would be about a three, on current listening. Not my favourite band, but the album doesn't seem all that inspiring as yet.

But this is the thing - OMM wheels out five star reviews every month, and Morley writes a good few of them whilst being so disaffected.

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Ibex Trounce
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Let's face it - every record should be given either five stars or no stars. Either it's worth spending time and money on or it isn't.
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My name is Mumpo
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is there such a thing as a five star, ten out of ten, absolutely flawless album? even with the two or three albums i consider the best ever made, there are still tracks that aren't as bewilderingly wonderful as others. i suppose that will always be the case, though, by definition - if you identify a best track, the rest are further down the scale.

can anyone honestly call their favourite album flawless?

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E10Rifle
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quote:
Century Of The Self made a very persuasive case that the hippy generation were directly responsible for Thatcherism/Reaganism.
I suspect he might have a bit of a point. What was the basis of his argument SR?
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The Batebe of Toro Foundation
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Loveless is flawless.
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Ibex Trounce
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I'm surprised Faithless didn't think of using Flawless as a title for their scintillating greatest hits disc.

(Hey, Faithless - the prime exponents of RECORD COMPANY RAVE!)

[ 19.02.2007, 15:59: Message edited by: Zoe Zawinul ]

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Ibex Trounce
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Just to inform younger readers of the actual critical reaction Loveless got at the time of its release:

In Melody Maker Reynolds was disappointed by it, felt it wasn't a big enough quantum leap from Isn't Anything and that it should all have sounded like track three on side one.

In the NME Dele Fadele criticised them for not using the record to speak out against apartheid in South Africa, eighteen months after Mandela's release.

No doubt this is the kind of sober response Morley would prefer us to pursue.

[ 19.02.2007, 16:10: Message edited by: Zoe Zawinul ]

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Mat Pereira
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Tom, i'm not sure about that. I think it's obviously all dependant on where you date the beginning of pop culture. The traditional chronology is to date it in-between 1956 and 1965. I think you can date it a lot earlier than that, somewhere around the point that people stopped buying sheet-music, and started buying records, or whatever they called 78's. I'm for dating it earlier, because I don't really believe in the idea of a sudden change in history. there's no such thing as a Year Zero and there never has been.

I think what was unusual was the degree to which pop culture became a means to making a lot of money very quickly. And it wasn't just the youth market. Branded music for old people was also a big factor in pop. You didn't get that before, not really.

And of course if you've got people making a lot of money very quickly, you get entrepeneurs, who are generally fine in this kind of context when they're trying to make their millions 'cause they'll try anything that works and won't interfere, but once they've made it, they play safe.

This is such a huge subject though.

The Death of the British Film Industry comes into this too of course.

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